Knowing Helsinki

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Knowing Helsinki – Part 1

Helsinki is the capital of Finland, a state that gained independence from Russia relatively recently, in 1917. The memory he left the Russian occupation was not very good and Finland fought a couple of times against the Soviet Union during World War II. The metropolitan area includes several neighboring towns, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen, to raise more than a million inhabitants. Helsinki was founded in the sixteenth century by King Gustav I of Sweden and the Swedish influence still survives as the street names are in Finnish and Swedish. Well, here I have been cheating since Finland was part of Sweden for 700 years and they are the official languages of the State.


Photography by Eoghan OLionnain

The first years of the city were poverty and disease. Helsinki was a minor coastal town far from the Baltic trade routes. The construction of the Suomenlinna fortress changed the face of the city whose final departure came after the annexation to Russia who moved the capital from Turku to Helsinki to reduce Swedish influence.

Knowing Helsinki

Photography by Anosmia

Some aspects of the city:

As is noted that capital is a city of great economic level, all Finnish multinationals have their headquarters here and the country’s economy largely depends on it. The cost of living is quite high. To give you an idea, take a taxi charge about 5 euros (8 in the evening and on Sundays) and thereafter the fee is 1.33 euros per kilometer. Eat at a restaurant not cheap. And to go drinking must be directly donate a kidney, a round of three drinks in a pub in the center, we can go for about 35 euros.

Helsinki City Tours:

A walk in winter to bring warm clothing required, here the temperature sometimes reaches -20 ° C. rub Any visit to Helsinki starts Esplanade, a street parallel to the sea which is close to everything. To the east, on a hill overlooking you have full view of the Uspensky Cathedral (Uspenskin katedraali – 1868), a cathedral of very distinctive red color that recalls the years of Russian influence. This temple belongs to the Orthodox Church and its golden exterior hints at the riches inside houses.

Helsinki City Tours

Photography by Anosmia

The Presidential Palace (Presidentinlinna – 1845), is a building that was originally the home of a wealthy merchant. In 1837 it was bought by the Governor General of Finland and the Tsar Nicholas I appointed her official residence and the building became the Imperial Palace in Helsinki. Since 1919 has been the residence of the Finnish president. Other places can be known is to Tamminiemi, this is a villa situated in a quieter area. Across the street is the Plaza del Mercado (Kauppatori) where each week we organize the most famous flea market of the city and attracting more tourists.

Helsinki Vacations

Photography by hanspoldoja

«Casita de campo» in the Baltic mid eighteenth century, on the outskirts of Helsinki, the Swedes built a military base at sea and for this they used the many islands in the Gulf of Finland. Over the years the site has complied Suomenlinna different functions depending on its occupants, Swedes, Russians and finally Finland. This is one of the highlights of Finland and in 1991 UNESCO recognized its historical value by incorporating it into its World Heritage list as an example of European military architecture.

An amazing place to see is the Fortress of Suomenlinna. Following the path back to Esplanade northbound take to get into the Senate Square (Senaatintori). In the center stands a statue of Alexander II, Emperor of Russia until he was killed, but what really stands out is the Lutheran Cathedral (Tuomiokirkon kappeli – 1852), a symbol for the city. Unlike the Orthodox cathedral interior is very austere and that from a tourist point of view inside is not very special.

Lutheran Cathedral and other buildings forming the square are the Palace of the State Council (1822) is now the Prime Minister’s office and, on the opposite side, the University of Helsinki and its library.

There are many more to see and do in Helsinki!

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